A Collection a Day by Lisa Congdon

There is a new book out there that will appeal to the curiosity in all of us.  It is a book entirely dedicated to personal collections called A Collection a Day.  Originally in blog format at Collectionaday2010.blogspot, artist Lisa Congdon took on a year long project of creatively composing and photographing her many collections.  Each page represents a day of the year and showcases a grouping of items that she has obtained through the course of her life.  On her blog she states that "Most of the collections are real and exist in my home or studio; those I will photograph.  Some are imagined; those I will draw or (occasionally) paint."

A great coffee table or reference book, it is filled with inspiration from the old-fashioned to the odd.  In it you'll find ideas for color, composition, graphic design, packaging, and a whole lot more.


Furniture Repair: Water Damage

A few weeks back I bought an amazing looking dresser off of Craigslist.  The only problem was that it had some serious water damage and a few scuffs.  I got a great deal because of its condition, but was worried that I wouldn't be able to make it look presentable.  At first, I tried a simple Murphy's Wood Cleaner.  Although it made it shinier, it still had a ton of water spots.  Then, a wonderful Lowe's employee told me that I should try Homax White Ring Remover.  It is a cloth soaked in a miracle solution that you rub on to your furniture and then wipe off.  I only had to use one cloth for my entire dresser which meant that for under $4 I was able to turn my dresser from a disaster to looking like new!  I couldn't recommend this product more.

Stay tuned for the "Before and After." Polishing the hardware this week!


Capiz Shell Pendant Lights

A client of mine is redecorating their little girl's bedroom and I recommended getting a Floral Capiz Shell Pendant to add a soft feminine touch to the room, but also evoke a grown-up elegance.  Because lighting can be rather expensive, I try to invest in pieces that will grow with the client and their needs.  It would be easy to go out and get a pink chandelier, but over time as she transitions from child to teenager her style will most likely change.  By selecting a quality piece that will suite your needs now and in the future you can save yourself time and money down the line (especially in a transitional room).  Check out a few other lovely pieces in the capiz shell family below. 
Images: Jgids.com, Decor Pad, Coastal Living, West Elm


Painted Floors

A great way to bring a little life into your room is to paint the floor.  Many people don't think about color flooring, but prefer to use accent rugs instead.  Keep in mind that it is not my first choice to go straight to painting hardwood floors, especially when you already have a beautiful floor.  However, as you can see from the pictures below it can enhance the style you already have and reflect your personality in ways that a pecan or mahogany stain can not.


Expedit Bookcase..you are Everywhere!!!!

As you probably have noticed in various interior designs, the Expedit bookcase from Ikea is a very popular storage choice for a lot of people.  It's simple, straightforward design, goes well with almost any style of decor and the ample space it provides is enticing for the book-lover or collector. Check out the fun ways people personalize this best-seller.

Images: Elle Decor, House to Home

Images: Design Sponge, Kishani Perera

Images: Decor Pad, Simplyvonne, Samantha Pynn, Cape27 blog, Ohdeedoh , Almostbunnies, Dozidesign


Store Visit: Hemingway and Pickett

Recently, I stumbled upon a new store in Silverlake called Hemingway and Pickett.  As with many of the shops in this area, there is an indie / bohemian quality to the products with an emphasis on quality and good design. Carrying home accessories, art, jewelry and books the store offers a variety of products that come from local artists as well as Australia.  It is definitely worth a visit to see the reclaimed wood ceiling and to find that unique piece you have been looking for.  Also, stop for lunch at Food + Lab or drop in for a mimosa at Dusty's which are located right next door. Yum!


Design Trend: Little Antlers

As we've seen in more and more contemporary homes, the tradition of mounting large animals to the walls has past.  A more understated way of adding the same rustic quality to your room is through the use of smaller antlers grouped together.  It is less obtrusive and can be a more tasteful way of drawing attention to a focal wall.  BYE, BYE MOOSE HEAD!

Images courtesy of Country Living, Elle Decor, LA Times, Jenna Lyons, London Wall Antlers


HD Buttercup / Skeletal Pics

HD Buttercup is a high-end furniture retailer here in LA.  On a recent trip to visit this vast design warehouse I was happy to see that something I wrote about over a year ago was actually featured in the store (click HERE to see full post).  If you remember, I went to the Burton Antique Show awhile back and found some very unique medical posters (see above).  Well here they are in full effect!  Take them out of the flea market tent and put them in a high-end showroom and viola...instant chicness and way more $$$$$$.


Proportionate Furniture Choices

As some of you know I recently moved into a new place (which I LOVE).  However, some of the furniture I had in my last place doesn't quite fit the way I would want into my new location.  This can be a problem for many people who find when they move that the flow throughout their new apartment or house just doesn't feel quite right.  Although you may not notice it at first, getting size appropriate furniture is important to maintaining the overall feel of your room.  It involves a thoughtful evaluation process of adding and subtracting until you get just the right balance.


Brasso to the Rescue

My wonderful mother has been using Brasso for years. Recently when I acquired some unique decorative dishes from a thrift store, I knew that this magical polish was just the ticket to make them shine like new.  I try to remember when I am at a flea market, or just window shopping, not to discount items that may need a little TLC.  Not only are used items a much better deal, but often times they only require small fixes that can be accomplished with a simple run to the local hardware store.


Field Trip: Anthropologie Concept Shop

Not being able to hold out any longer, I finally made a trip to see the new design concept shop at the Beverly Hills Anthropologie.  You may recall my coverage of the new in-store decor shop in a posting a little while back (click here to check it out).  While it had a small representation of furnishings, wallpapers, and lighting along with some smaller accessories, it was pretty much the same as it has always been.  The store reflected the creativity and color that is now synonymous with the brand, with the only difference being some additional flair in the decor area. There is enough to warrant a visit to one of their select locations as long as you are aware that there may not be much variety in home products.  Best to meandering around and enjoy the "Anthropologie experience" rather than expect to redo your home.

Unique wallpaper samples available for order through the store.

If you are looking for a little inspiration for your space, or interested in some stylish books for your coffee table, the design books featured below are all worth a look.  To get an even better deal on these titles try to get them used at Half.com.  They are often in great condition and are easier on your wallet.


Cute Labels for Your Garden

Sugar Plum Stitches store on Etsy
Although spring will officially be transitioning into summer at the end of this month, it is not too late to accessorize your gardens and keep the springtime spirit going.  These adorable garden tags are just the ticket to bring a little more life into your growing greens.

The Modern Gardner



Lucky Magazine to Launch "Lucky Home" and "Lucky Kids"

I'm happy to report that Lucky Magazine announced earlier this year that they will be coming out with an extension of their already popular fashion magazine and branching out into home decor and kids apparel.  Aptly named Lucky Home and Lucky Kids, these additions to the newsstand will most likely expand on the shopping reports, city guides, organizational methods, and trends that are already covered in the fashion issues.  As excited as I am to hear about the expansion into other areas however, it is also being reported that they will no longer be exploring "mid-range" fashion (budget friendly options).  One of the best qualities of the magazine was that it was relatable.  It dealt with fashion that anyone could acquire and create their own looks from.  I hope they won't stray too far from there original concepts.  We shall see!